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NK-08 - CPR 36' Fowler Boxcar – Wood Roof Kit


CPR 36' Fowler Boxcar – Wood Roof Kit

The kit consists of resin castings, with the floor, sides and ends in one piece. The modeler adds the roof, door of choice (several provided), running boards, etc. Trucks, couplers and weight to be supplied by the modeler. No paint or decals included.

This model is typical of the 36' wooden boxcars that roamed the rails carrying freight all across Canada and the U.S.A. for half a century, a few lasting until the 1960's. These boxcars carried wheat and other grains to market along with manufactured goods of all kinds. 33,000 of these cars were built between 1896 and 1914. These wooden single-sheathed steel frame boxcars had a capacity of 40 tons and a tare weight of 20 tons and 2,448 cubic feet of space. They were outfitted with archbar Simplex trucks. In the 1920s and 1930s many of these cars were rebuilt with metal roofs.

Other railroads across the continent also used tens of thousands of similar cars. They were designed by W. E. Fowler, CPR Master Car Builder, who later patented this weight-saving design which became known as the Fowler boxcar. Prior to the Fowler design, boxcars typically had wooden structural members sandwiched between an interior and exterior wooden skin. The Fowler car eliminated the exterior layer of wood, producing a cheaper, lighter car that could carry a greater payload. This design also prevented grain leakage at seam between the floor and the side of the car.

The Fowler boxcars were generally used to carry grain and other dry bulk commodities until about 1960, when they began to be replaced by specialized top-load/bottom-discharge covered hopper cars. Dry bulk commodities shipped in boxcars were literally poured into the open doorway of the car, into which a bulkhead four to six feet high had been inserted to form a largely closed box. When the car arrived at its destination, it was usually unloaded by men with shovels. This was an expensive and laborious process, particularly in Canada where transportation of grains, ores and other dry bulk commodities were so significant to the economy.

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